One day after being involved in a deadly crash, actor and comedian Tracy Morgan is still in the intensive care unit and in critical condition at Robert Wood Johnson Hospital in New Brunswick, New Jersey. His rep issued a statement earlier today with at least a little bit of good news. “While Tracy remains in critical condition, he has been more responsive today, which is an incredibly encouraging sign.”
The rep also shared some details about Tracy’s injuries. “He sustained a number of injuries including a broken leg, a broken femur, a broken nose and several broken ribs,” the rep said. “He had surgery earlier today on his leg. We expect him to remain in the hospital for several weeks. His family is tremendously overwhelmed and appreciative of the outpouring of love and support from his fans.”
The accident, which resulted in the death of comedian James “Jimmy Mack” McNair, occurred at approximately 1AM Saturday morning on the New Jersey turnpike in Mercer County when truck driver Kevin Roper crashed into the back of the limo bus carrying Morgan, McNair and others. Sgt. Gregory Williams of New Jersey State Police tells CNN that “The driver of the tractor-trailer failed to observe slow-moving traffic ahead.” He then adds, “At the last minute, he swerved to try and avoid the Mercedes limo bus but struck it from behind, forcing the limo to rotate and overturn.”
Eyewitness Vicktoria spoke with People about the horrific six-vehicle accident. “My husband saw the Wal-Mart truck swerving, and he slammed on the brakes,” she says. “The truck hit the Mercedes, and then it hit the guard rail and another white SUV. It was like a movie in slow motion. The Mercedes spun out of control and then flipped over and came to rest on the driver’s side.”
Vicktoria later reveals that her son was the first on the scene and she describes Ardie [Fuqua] out of the vehicle and trying to keep him conscious and seeing the people in the back of the limo, who “were in rough shape.” (CLICK HERE to read Vicktoria’s full account at People.com.)
Kevin Roper (mug shot photo above), 35, of Jonesboro, Georgia has since been charged with one count of death by auto and four counts of assault by auto. Roper turned himself in Saturday night and was released after posting a $50,000 bond. According to the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office, Roper’s first court appearance is scheduled for Monday, June 9.
At the time of the accident, Roper was driving a WalMart tractor trailer, and it was later confirmed by Walmart spokesperson Brooke Buchanan that Roper is an employee. Bill Simon, president and CEO of Walmart U.S., has since issued a statement in which he says of the accident and pending investigation, “This is a tragedy and we are profoundly sorry that one of our trucks was involved. The facts are continuing to unfold. If it’s determined that our truck caused the accident, Walmart will take full responsibility.”
Kevin Roper mug shot photo: NJSP/Splash News